BOCA RATON, FLA. — A year after plans were first announced to seriously explore an organizational combination, the merger of the American Bakers Association and the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association has been approved unanimously by each group’s board of directors. The boards met independently at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton.
Following the votes, a signing ceremony was held during the 2017 all membership meeting of the American Bakers Association. Participating in the ceremony were members of the groups’ transition steering committee, including, from the A.B.A., Richard G. Scalise, Hearthside Foods; Erin Sharp, The Kroger Co.; and Robb MacKie, A.B.A.; and, from the B.&C.M.A., William Quigg, Richmond Baking Co.; Todd Wallin, Ellison Baking Co.; and Dave Van Laar, B.&C.M.A.
The merger is set to close June 30. Over the next three months, forums will be offered to members of each group to provide information about the benefits of the combination and opportunities it will present to members.
“The Transition Steering Committee has done an outstanding job over the past year to complete its due diligence and ensure the voices of the A.B.A. and B.&C.M.A. members were heard,” said Mr. MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A. “It is very clear that there are tremendous synergies and that combining our two organizations will return significant added value for the industry.”
Mr. Van Laar, president and c.e.o. of the B.&C.M.A., added, “Together, we will be a stronger, unified organization that will offer enhanced, comprehensive services to meet the needs of our members and the baking industry. It has been an incredible journey thus far, and we are eagerly looking forward to this next phase of transitioning into an enhanced, merged organization for our members.”
The A.B.A., based in Washington, has represented the wholesale baking industry before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies and international regulatory authorities. The focus of the B.&C.M.A., headquartered in Columbia, Md., principally has been directed toward education, training and networking opportunities for its members. The A.B.A. was established 120 years ago while the B.&C.M.A. roots date back 113 years.